Ruling soon on minor status of Niles teen, accused of murder

A ruling is expected on Friday as to whether a Niles teen, accused of the beating death of an elderly neighbor, will have to stand trial as an adult.

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A ruling is expected on Friday as to whether a Niles teenager facing murder charges will have to stand trial as an adult.

Jacob Larosa is accused in the beating death of his 94-year-old neighbor, Marie Belcastro, last March inside the woman’s home on Cherry Street. He is also charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and attempted rape.

Larosa was just 15 at the time of his arrest, but Trumbull County prosecutors want to try him as an adult.

According to court documents, officers found blood spatter throughout Belcastro’s home, as well as bloody footprints. Larosa initially denied being in the victim’s house, but later changed his story, claiming he went in a side door and that Belcastro gave him $10, a report states.

Police said surveillance video from a neighbor’s home linked Larosa to the crime. Neighbors reported that he knew the woman, who paid him to mow her lawn.

A hearing in county family court continued on Thursday, but under a judge’s order, neither side has been allowed to discuss the case publicly.

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